Brokers and Bureaucrats

Building Market Institutions in Russia
Timothy Frye
Offers a new political explanation for the creation of market institutions as it investigates Russia's transition from a command economy


A classic problem of social order prompts the central questions of this book: Why are some groups better able to govern themselves than others? Why do state actors sometimes delegate governing power to other bodies? How do different organizations including the state, the business community, and protection rackets come to govern different markets? Scholars have used both sociological and economic approaches to study these questions; here Timothy Frye argues for a different approach. He seeks to extend the theoretical and empirical scope of theories of self-governance beyond groups that exist in isolation from the state and suggests that social order is primarily a political problem.

Drawing on extensive interviews, surveys, and other sources, Frye addresses these question by studying five markets in contemporary Russia, including the currency futures, universal and specialized commodities, and equities markets. Using a model that depicts the effect of state policy on the prospects for self-governance, he tests theories of institutional performance and offers a political explanation for the creation of social capital, the formation of markets, and the source of legal institutions in the postcommunist world. In doing so, Frye makes a major contribution to the study of states and markets.

The book will be important reading for academic political scientists, economists (especially those who study the New Institutional Economics), legal scholars, sociologists, business-people, journalists, and students interested in transitions.

Timothy Frye is Assistant Professor of Political Science, The Ohio State University.

Praise / Awards

  • "This book will become a significant part of the new institutional economics literature."
    —Andrei Shleifer, Harvard University
  • "Timothy Frye has written an extraordinary book. With compelling analysis and crystalline prose he explains the emergence of self-governing organizations in Russia's new market. Brokers and Bureaucrats is one of the finest syntheses of rigorous theory and careful empirical research in the new generation of postcommunist studies."
    —Philip G. Roeder, University of California, San Diego
  • "Brokers and Bureaucrats offer its readers painstaking empirical research and a substantial and stimulating argument. Because complex contextual and technical features of the markets studied are explained succinctly and clearly, t he book should reach the wide audience it deserves. Professors will want their graduate students to read it as a model of how to connect the austere theories of the seminar room with the intricate realities of meticulous fieldwork. Specialists on Russia will appreciate the unequalled account of infighting in the executive bureaucracy. Undergraduates will find the book accessible and interesting as well. Of the broadest import is Frye's demonstration that even weak state agents can facilitate private efforts to conduct commerce without force or fraud. For a world of states too feeble to carry out the market-sustaining functions the NIE demands of them, here is an important lesson."
    —David M. Woodruff, Studies in Comparative International Development ,
  • Winner: American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS) 2001 Edward A. Hewett Prize

Look Inside

List of Figures          vii
List of Tables          ix
Preface          xi
Acknowledgments          xiii
Introduction: The Problem of Social Order          1
1. Institutions and Social Order: Sociological and Economic Approaches          17
2. Self-Governance and Social Order: A More Political Approach          33
3. Benign Neglect: Self-Governance on Currency Futures Markets          56
4. The Meddlesome Leviathan: Self-Governance on the Commodities Markets          84
5. Toward a Politics of Social Order: Self-Governance on the Equities Market          107
6. What Governs? Organizational Competition and the Weak Russian State          143
7. State Policy and Self-Governance: The Political Roots of Social Order          165
8. The Bear's Bear: Institutional Developments and the Crash of 1998          193
Conclusion: Social Order and Social Science          215
Notes          223
References          249
Index          263

Product Details

  • 288 pages.
  • 14 drawings, 38 tables.
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  • 2009
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  • 978-0-472-02348-6

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